The Walk

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The Walk

By Trevor Brashier 07/05/18

I can effectively express two emotions, anger and rage, and if someone fucked with my little girl, they would be getting a double load of both.

Image: 
Father and daughter walking together.
Happiness is something I have never quite been able to handle. I don’t think it’s meant for me.

I hadn’t been back in the free world a month, but I was rolling. This time I was flat, no parole, no PO to fuck with, no fines, nothing. Things were back on track and it happened quickly. I had established an entirely new set of contacts on the inside who were in need of a man with my skill set. They helped me get up and running so I made sure I made good on their initial investment. After that, I carved out a deal to set myself up. My supply was steady and demand was... Well, demand in the drug game is something you never have to worry about.

I got a text on my phone, not the prepaid burner phone that goes off non-stop, but my actual, personal phone. Only three people have this number and two of them are my children, so of course, I opened it immediately. It was my daughter, the one person who can melt my heart with a single word, touch, or look. She is 19 and a thing of pure beauty. She is the best of her mother and very little of me (I pray).

“Daddy, I need you.”

I can’t describe what went through me when I saw these words on the backlit screen of my phone. I’ve spent literally thousands of sleepless nights wishing I could do something, anything, to make up for the pain I’ve caused this sweet girl. This might be my chance.

“what wrong” “u ok” my archaic thumbs desperately trying to type the letters and press send.

“I’m fine Daddy just need to talk to you.”

“where are you now”

“at home.”

“I’ll brite there”

“??????”

God damned mother fucking phone. “I’ll be right there”

“Okay Daddy cu soon”

I look around the house and think about what I would need. I dusted off a thousand dollars and stuffed it into an envelope. That’s not enough, I thought, and got fifteen hundred more. My phone... my keys... my gun... No, not the gun. Not around my baby, at least not until I know more. I lit a cigarette and got in my car.

The drive was over too soon. I was consumed by anticipation. I was so happy to be going to see my girl, at her request, and to be wanted by her, or at least needed if not exactly wanted. That’s almost just as good. For a moment, I came close to letting myself be happy, but before the happiness set in, the worry of why she might be needing me kicked in. Happiness is something I have never quite been able to handle. I don’t think it’s meant for me. Of all the people she could have called, she called me. Her mother always handles the emotional stuff. Her stepdad is a good man, he makes decent money, but she called me. I am not a good man. I can effectively express two emotions, anger and rage, and if someone fucked with my little girl, they would be getting a double load of both.

When I saw her standing there in her driveway, I forgot all about that.

I got out of my car and walked up to her. She welcomed me in with a hug. Not the sideways kind either, but with her head turned, cheek against my chest, full embrace. The sweet smell of her hair filled my nostrils and transported me back to a time almost forgotten. My God this feels good, I thought to myself.

“When did you grow up, baby girl?”

“It happens fast, Daddy”

Before I could ask her what was happening, she took me by the hand and started walking. It was a late spring day that was made for being outside. Her neighborhood wasn’t fancy, a bit run down, older, filled with young couples just starting out and old couples just finishing up. It was quiet today though, or perhaps I just wasn’t hearing anything around me. I was so intently focused on her, I realized, we were long past sight of my car or even her driveway.

Just walking.

She talked and I listened. She gave me the short hand version of the last 13 years of her life, the years I had wasted in prison. This remarkably strong, independent, young woman was five when she watched me get beaten until I was unrecognizable, handcuffed, and dragged out of our living room. She then watched as her home was completely torn to pieces for every dollar I had tucked away.

But here we were today, walking.

Stories of relationships, achievements, disappointments, highs, lows and everything in between went into my ears and swirled through my brain like an F5 tornado. I had no fucking clue whatsoever to say about any of it.

So we walked, and she talked, and I listened.

I listened to the struggles of a young woman, desperate to make her way in a hard, unforgiving world. I could hear the desperation and determination in her voice. Still, I had nothing to offer, no advice, no words at all.

Before I knew it, we were back at my car hugging again. We were about to part ways and I had done nothing for her. Not one damn thing!

“Wait! I brought you something!”

I handed her the envelope that I brought and had forgotten until just then. She opened it a little, peeked inside, closed it, and pressed it against my chest.

“That’s not why I called, Daddy. I just needed to talk to you. Thank you so much for walking with me, I hope we can do this more. I love you.”

I was barely able to mumble “I love you too, baby girl,” before I got into the car. I drove on autopilot for a few minutes.

“What the fuck just happened?” I felt the guilt of my life pile on so heavily I could hardly breathe. It was like a guy I heard about who had been hit by an avalanche. He said it was like the snow was all around him, squeezing him from every possible angle, and he had to make room around his body to get any air.

This was a feeling I could not deal with. I did not possess any knowledge or skill that would allow me to work through this. The only thing I knew for sure was that I could make it go away. It would only be a temporary fix, but gone for right now was good enough for me. I knew what I had to do and getting home to do it as quickly as possible was my only objective. I had to get high.

When I arrived, I went straight inside. I bypassed my personal stash and took out what I needed from my supply. I prepared a larger amount than usual and loaded it into a syringe. I considered that it may be too much and that I may overdose, but the way I felt, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. I pressed the plunger of the rig until I saw a tiny drop hanging on the bevel of the needle. I tightened the belt around my bicep and with a familiar prick of the skin, the anticipation building, breath holding, a ribbon of red flashed in the barrel and .. .. .. .. gone.

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